A new trend emerging in the category of Green Buildings are hospitals with an eye to reducing their environmental impact. So called “Green Hospitals” are keen to lower energy bills, reduce waste and achieve healthier indoor air; and its having an impact on worker productivity and patient recovery rates.
Hospitals are energy intensive insitutions that generate enormous amounts of waste in order to achieve sanitary conditions and ensure the safety of their patients from infection and disease. In a twist of irony, many of the protection systems cause respiratory problems in other patients. By choosing low VOC cleaning products the safe recovery of both sets of patients are expediated. Simple design changes such as ‘Daylighting” are having an impact as well.
No one can deny hospitals have a bottom line. In fact, these changes Green Hospitals are adopting are helping achieve that bottom line. “Hospitals are the heart and soul of the community and we need to be open for business no matter what,” says Kai Abelkis, environmental coordinator for Boulder Community Hospital in Boulder, Colorado. “If the hospitals in New Orleans had solar panels, at least they could have kept the respirators going. If hospitals upgraded to more efficient lighting, we could save a considerable sum, enhance emergency preparedness and improve air quality.”
For a ranking of the top 10 US Green Hospitals click here.